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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 08:54 GMT 09:54 UK
Gender equality is 'years away'
Woman with laptop
The report highlights a gap between the sexes on flexible working
Equality between men and women in Scotland could take generations to achieve, a watchdog has said.

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) reported that women still lagged behind men on several measures.

The body's Completing the Revolution report said the part-time pay gap would take 30 years to close, and the full-time pay gap would take 20 years.

A trades union spokesman has urged the government to tackle pay inequalities in the public services.

The EOC Scotland report said that, despite some advances, there were still "worrying" gaps.

These startling indicators suggest that the reality of far too many men's and women's lives is out of step with their aspirations
Rowena Arshad
EOC Scotland

Women working full-time are said to earn 14% less than men and the gap with women working part-time is even higher - at 34%.

A gap between the sexes on flexible working - men are less likely to work flexibly, even though half of them want to work more flexibly - is unlikely to narrow without further action, said the report.

And in the home, the "chores gap" will never close, with women still spending 78% more time than men on housework, said the report.

'Gender Agenda'

Rowena Arshad, EOC Scotland commissioner, said: "Scotland is still a long way from being an equal nation.

"These startling indicators suggest that the reality of far too many men's and women's lives is out of step with their aspirations."

She said Scotland was in the throes of a social revolution, but one that was unfinished.

"Today, most women work, many men no longer define themselves as breadwinners and both sexes often struggle to find the time they need to care for others in their lives," said Ms Arshad.

"Despite the many advances over recent years, our institutions have not caught up with these changes."

It is 30 years since the Equal Pay act became law, yet 'women's work' - cleaners, caterers and carers, classroom assistants and clerical staff - is still not fairly rewarded
Glyn Hawker
Unison

Glyn Hawker, Scottish organiser for public services union Unison, welcomed the EOC Scotland report and its accompanying campaign, Gender Agenda.

She said the government must make money available to tackle inequalities in pay in the public services.

Ms Hawker said: "The long and painful progress towards equal pay in Scotland's essential public services must be resolved if we are to have a positive impact on both the pay and the status of women workers.

"It is 30 years since the Equal Pay Act became law, yet 'women's work' - cleaners, caterers and carers, classroom assistants and clerical staff - is still not fairly rewarded."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
It can take years for pay inequalities to be addressed



SEE ALSO
Women 'missing' from senior jobs
05 Jan 07 |  Scotland
Equality call to improve Scotland
05 Jan 06 |  Scotland
Equal pay claims lodged by union
30 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Pregnant women 'lose their jobs'
30 Jun 05 |  Business
Scots gender pay gap 'scandalous'
01 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Women 'still face glass ceiling'
30 Dec 04 |  Business

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